Secondary Infertility & Surrogacy: Tammy’s Story [JOURNEY]

January 18, 2021

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Today’s journey story of a woman named Tammy, who you might remember from Episode 192. When we last spoke, she was finally pregnant with her son after multiple retrievals, transfers of normal embryos, and miscarriages. But her story doesn’t end there. Join us to hear the latest in Tammy’s journey with secondary infertility.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • A recap of Tammy’s journey to have her son, from Episode 192:
    • How they tried to conceive on their own, but two chemical pregnancies let them know that something might be wrong
    • How a semen analysis gave them cause for concern, along with uterine lining issues; their first IVF transfer ended in a miscarriage due to a blighted ovum
    • How another IVF gave a negative result and a failed natural cycle led them to switch clinics
    • How more tests brought a uterine specialist, another retrieval, OHSS, and bladder problems
    • How a break helped them reset for success on their fourth transfer–and the birth of their son, who is now 20 months old
  • How Tammy’s Day 5 (B/C grade) embryo is the one that produced her son
  • What it was like going through pregnancy after so much loss
  • Tammy’s difficult delivery, which was a recommended scheduled C-section that resulted in uncontrollable bleeding and a blood transfusion
  • How surgery was required to stop the bleeding, and the doctor couldn’t save her uterus; she also experienced cardiac arrest and a near-death experience with an ICU stay
  • How Tammy did a relaxation technique to bring her heart rate down, which put her on a level of self-advocacy
  • Tammy’s parenting journey after much pregnancy loss and a traumatic birth experience
  • What Tammy’s physical recovery was like
  • How Tammy’s birth trauma affected her mental health and her life
  • How she found healing with somatic experience (SE) sessions and EMDR therapy
  • Since the birth of her son, Tammy has pursued surrogacy through an agency; they had just found a surrogate match in March 2020 when COVID slowed things down
  • How Tammy’s surrogate has become a valued friend
  • The first transfer, last October, failed, and another retrieval of Tammy’s eggs was a failure; they have a second retrieval scheduled soon
  • How the journey for a second child has differed from the first one
  • How the matching process works to find a surrogate
  • What listeners should know about the clearance process in surrogacy
  • The emotional difference between infertility treatment for yourself and surrogacy
  • How it feels when transfers of normal embryos fail with the surrogate
  • Tammy’s most recent egg retrieval and its failure to produce any normal embryos
  • How the second leg of Tammy’s journey has changed her: “I’ve been pushed to think that it should be easy for me now since so many bad things have already happened. I just want my family here now, no matter how it works out.”
  • Tammy’s advice to her past self: “Trust your gut. I’m glad I started the surrogacy journey so early because it takes a lot of time.”

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Thanks for listening!

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